Disputed paternity test for former Salinas PD youth adviser led to reduced charges.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
When Jane Doe’s baby bump started showing, the hallway rumors about her secret relationship starting growing too. Scott Callan, a former adviser in the Salinas Police Department’s Explorer Program, admitted to having sex with the then-15-year-old girl, and thought he was the father.
Callan, 28, met the girl through the after-school Explorer program, a weekly training that gives participants uniforms and basic equipment along with basic lessons on criminal law. Jane Doe became an explorer in 2009, and she and Callan had sex over a period of about three months.
Investigators say she was uncooperative, and rejected the prosecution at all. “It’s very common in statutory rape cases the victim does not see themself as the victim,” Deputy District Attorney Cristina Johnson says.
Jane Doe didn’t want to testify, and sexual assault victims are protected in that they’re not required by law to take the stand. But prosecutors didn’t need her testimony to make their case, since Callan admitted to having sex with a minor.
He was charged with 12 felonies associated with sexual misconduct. After a DNA test showed he wasn’t the father, Callan entered into a plea bargain that allowed him to avoid registering as a sex offender. He was convicted on two counts of statutory rape and sentenced to three years in state prison.
Jane Doe and her mother sued for civil damages, still arguing Callan fathered the girl’s baby. They settled for $200,000 with the city of Salinas and agreed to drop the case, without a follow-up paternity test.
The Explorer program, supported by the Boys Scouts and the Salinas Police Activities League, is still going; its infrequently updated website still includes Callan’s name.
Sgt. Chris Lane is quick to distance himself from Callan, who was a civilian serving in the PD. “He was not a sworn officer. He gets lumped in with officers, and it’s really too bad that that happens,” Lane says. “Just like Olivares, and just like Ramirez, he’s making our professions look bad, when 99 percent of them are good people.”